Kerbal Space Program (opens in new tab) has come a long way since its initial public release in 2011. It went to Steam Early Access in 2013, made a full launch in 2015, and was acquired (along with developer Squad) by Take-Two in 2017. A sequel was announced last year, being developed by a different studio, Star Theory Games, but that plan has now changed somewhat: Take-Two said today that development of Kerbal Space Program 2 (opens in new tab) has been taken over by a new studio founded under its boutique "indie" publishing label Private Division.
The change doesn't necessarily represent a complete overhaul, as "key members" of the existing Kerbal 2 team including former Star Theory studio head Jeremy Ables, creative director Nate Simpson, and lead producer Nate Robinson will move to the new studio and continue working on the game. It doesn't appear that many other Star Theory personnel went with them, however, as job listings (opens in new tab) for the new studio range from Workday Systems Analyst to Associate Producer, Lead Artist, Test Lead, and even a KSP Community Manager.
"The opening of this new studio, whose purpose is dedicated solely to the ongoing development of KSP, is a reinforcement of our promise to bring the best experiences to our fans and players for Kerbal Space Program 2 and beyond," Private Division head Michael Worosz said.
A Private Division rep emphasized in a statement to VGC (opens in new tab) that the goal of the move is to ensure that developers are focused solely on Kerbal Space Program 2.
"The decision to open our own studio and move development in-house allows us to provide the development team with the necessary time and resources to complete development of KSP 2 at the quality level we all want to deliver our players," the rep said. "Our goal—and the goal of our developers—is to provide our community with the highest level gaming experience with Kerbal Space Program 2."
Take-Two didn't say how the change will impact Star Theory, an independent developer whose previous games (as Uber Entertainment (opens in new tab)) include Monday Night Combat and Planetary Annihilation. I've reached out to Private Division for more information and will update if I receive a reply. KSP2 is expected to launch sometime in Take-Two's 2021 fiscal year, which runs April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.